Draft report of workshop for Digital Champions April 12 2003.
Some links are no longer available
The workshop was held as part of a seminar for Digital Champions participating in the pioneering North Argyll Islands Digital Community – one of two digital communities promoted and supported by the Scottish Executive.
Nearly 2000 computers have been distributed to people living on 13 islands off the west coast of Scotland, training courses have been run on the islands, and a new community portal launched. A key part of the strategy is to support volunteer Digital Champions, and paid mentors, who will promote and support use of the computers, the portal and other online activities.
Digital champions and their strategic support team spent two hours ‘playing through’ the activities and projects that may be needed to make the digital community a success. They did this by working in mixed groups, to help people from different island get to know each other. The workshop was facilitated by David Wilcox of Making the Net Work.
The groups invented some typical island situations, and then used a menu of ideas, on cards, to develop action plans to tackle problems and improve or protect the community, economy and environment of the islands. They also added their own ideas.
The strategy team from Argyll and Bute Council and portal developers Unitech developed their own priorities and some strategic objectives for the programme – and fortunately the island and support team views broadly agreed.
Three main strands emerged from the discussion:
Additional suggestions will be developed following circulation of the draft report.
The programme was
- Each champions’ group invented a fictitious yet ‘typical’ island scenario. These were named Llum, Corran and Atlantis. The scenarios contained a description of the island, and the challenges faced by the people, groups and businesses there.
- The strategy group reflected on the digital communities project overall, and developed a set of strategic objectives for the programme.
David Wilcox explained that the workshop was based on similar events using the card ‘game’ reported on *http://www.makingthenetwork.org/pgame*. The game could be used either to create awareness of possibilities, or for real as part of a development or review process.
Everyone was asked to contribute to flip charts to answer the questions: what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges as they appear to the champions and mentors. Here are the flip charts, as the comments appeared. Some were duplicated by people saying ‘I agree’. There are shown as (x2)
Champions and mentors split into three island groups… each representing a small, medium and or large island. They were given the tasks
- who is there
- what is happening
- how interested are they
- what challenges are there
- After choosing cards, consider the resources of skills, support, funding needed
- ask the resource group how they can help
The ideas cards each had three components:
The set of cards included ideas relating to
The card ideas were (with 1,2,3 budget figures)
Volunteers, mentors or staff help users with technical and other problems
A telephone helpdesk provides advice and support to users
WEB CORRESPONDENTS 1
Volunteers develop news, features, photographs and video for the portal and help other users
TUTOR SUPPORT 1
Volunteers work with tutor/mentors to provide additional support to users
CHAMPION PROCEDURES 1
A volunteer policy and rewards system provides clearer roles and recognition for champions.
CHAMPION SUPPORT 1
A dedicated worker - or volunteer - manages and helps champions and their support/training programme
NEEDS RESEARCH 2
Research identifies community needs and why people may or may not be interested in the digital community.
VISIONING WORKSHOPS 2
Workshops with key interests and users engage them in development of projects and a long term vision for the project.
2000FRIENDS FORUMS 1
The site continues to develop as an informal complement to the official portal.
VIRTUAL TWINNING 1
The NAI network twins with other communities where champions are playing a strong role in wired up communities in the UK and elsewhere (e.g New Zealand)
ONLINE LEARNING 2
Colleges and centres offer online courses and other learning opportunities to adults and children
SERVICES ONLINE 3
Public information and services are available online through the portal, allowing transactions at a distance.
MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS 2
Users have access to multi-media facilities to develop their own projects.
Enthusiasts are trained and to create sites and support others
Systems and support for small firms to develop their e-commerce capabilities
FAMILY PROJECTS 1
Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons - and grandparents - learn together through projects
LOCAL HISTORY AND GENEALOGY1
Workshops introduce people to the scope for tracing family histories, and researching and publishing local history.
STORIES ON THE WEB 1
People can use audio, video and web pages to raise issues of personal and community interest in their own words.
E-MAIL NEWSLETTERS 1
E-mail newsletters are developed by local groups to complement print newsletters
ONLINE PARTICIPATION 2
Discussion lists/forums enable different interests to air their views.
YOUTH PROJECTS 1
Young people and agencies to produce special web content
ASK THE EXPERTS 1
Volunteers with differing skills act as 'experts online' to provide an advice forum for other users.
Below are the strategic objectives, scenarios and action plans, linked together for clarity. Additional card ideas – and amendments - generated by groups are shown in red and italics.
The following strategic objectives were developed by the strategy group
———————– ——————————- —————————– ———————–
Strategic action plan Short Medium Long
High Needs research Youth projects
Tutor support Help desk
Online participation Visioning workshops
Champion support Web correspondents
Trouble shooting Stories on the web
Resolve connectivity issues #### Portal full of content
Medium Online learning Ask the experts
Island websites Champion procedures
2000Friends forum History and genealogy
Virtual Twinning Family projects
Low Email newsletters E-commerce
Multimedia projects ———————– ——————————- —————————– ———————–
Llum action plan Short Medium Long
###### High Helpdesk Trouble shooting Online participation
Champion support Needs research Visioning workshop
Lobbying, fundraising for sustainability 1